Locomotor Tutor Guide

1. Community Locomotor Tutor Guide: Introduction

During their fourth year medical students rotate through fourteen-week blocks of clinical specialities.

Community Locomotor resides within the wider 4th year Locomotor Unit, which consists of the following:

  • Orthopaedics and Rheumatology; 4 weeks
  • Health Care of the Elderly; 2 weeks
  • Dermatology; 1 week
  • Sexual Health; 2 weeks
  • Community Locomotor; 2 weeks


Community Locomotor comprises musculo-skeletal medicine (MSK-Orthopaedics and Rheumatology), Dermatology and Health Care of the Elderly (HCoE). Each student will complete a 2 week community placement:

  • The first week is centrally based teaching with a mixture of interactive lectures and simulated surgeries;
  • During the second week students will be in the community.

All students will receive notice of their practice allocation via email from the unit administrator; together with the practice contact details, address and directions. Students are expected to contact practices in advance of the start date to confirm the start time for the first day of the placement.


Students will be usually allocated in groups of 4 (occasionally more) to teaching practices.


Community Locomotor aims to give students and introduction to to the common problems that present in the community with regards to MSK, Dermatology and HCoE. It is hoped that GP tutors will be able to draw attention to the following: disease prevalence (especially conditions that are diagnosed and managed solely in general practice); the investigation and management of undifferentiated disease by GPs.


Centrally Based Teaching

  • The lectures will be interactive talks on common dermatological/ MSK issues. The health care of the elderly teaching focuses on the multidisciplinary team in the community.
  • The simulated surgeries are run with a number of actors (simulated patients or SPs). The students will then hold a consultation with the SP.

The student receives multi-source feedback from the observing peers, the SP and finally the group tutor. The Tutor then provides targeted teaching based on the learning needs that are identified during the consultation and feedback ( this may be clinical knowledge, consultation skills or both).


General Practice Placements

The days the students come out to practice are designed as more speciality based subject days with consultation and examination skills of specific patients in the morning/afternoon and active sitting in on the other half of the day. Please see later in the guide for more detail about the days.


The general practice based teaching is intended to complement the teaching in the hospital setting, so learning objectives will overlap to some extent. It is also hoped that GPs will introduce students to the differing types of support structures in the community that elderly patients or patients with MSK problems may encounter. With regards to dermatology we would be grateful if GPs could demonstrate common adult and childhood rashes and skin problems. It is important that the students can differentiate between serious and non serious conditions and learn how to screen appropriately for systemic disease.